Update: Just got talking to a couple of our friends at RIM, who said they weren’t surprised by the results of our test. It turns out that the focus of RIM’s development for the new rendering engine in OS 4.6 was in stability, not performance, and the Waterloo crew is still working on speed optimization. What this means is that future OS updates from RIM will require additional speed tests.
To be fair, it’s not by much – maybe a two to three second delay, depending on the site, but it’s enough to notice the difference. We’re also running on BIS, so don’t have enterprise servers doing a lot of the compression for us. The Bold’s browser is still a huge upgrade for BlackBerry, and definitely more enjoyable than what I was using on the Pearl. While we’re calling this test definitive (we ran a series of five tests using multiple sites each time), your mileage may vary – if you’ve got both devices in hand, take some time to wipe the caches and run a few tests. We’d love to hear if our results match up, and love even more to hear if they don’t.